Some of the people who have influenced me most are people I have never met. I have read books about them and how they learned to depend on God in the face of many different situations. These have encouraged me to trust Jesus more. Elizabeth Elliott is one of those authors who inspired me through her books.
I had the privilege of making her acquaintance a few times since I moved to New England. She passed away last Monday at the age of 88. Her book The Shadow of The Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliott marked me for life. It is about her first husband, Jim Elliot, who was making contact to share the good news of Jesus with the Auca Indians in Ecuador. He was martyred two years before I was born.
She wrote about living in the Auca village with the people who killed her husband and four other missionaries in, Through Gates Of Splendor and in The Savage My Kinsmen.
She also wrote A Chance To Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael, about a missionary who saved many girls out of slavery as temple prostitutes in India. I read some of Elizabeth Elliott’s other books as well and heard her speak some years back. Her dedication to God and to truth are evident when one is in her presence, whether in person or in her books.
I thank God for the life of Elizabeth Elliott. She served as a cross-cultural missionary, beginning as a single woman. She forgave and served the people who killed her husband, the father of her daughter. She wrote books, so multitudes of other people could have a glimpse into the lives of people who held nothing back to become more like Jesus. She inspired generations to follow our creator no matter the cost.
Have you read any of her books? How did they effect you? If you have not read any of her books, try to think of a biography that you have read and how it challenged you to be a better person.